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IABSM 3 is the third edition of the popular WW2 skirmish rules. The rules allow for company sized actions and many of the scenarios show a large number of infantry (over 100) per side plus guns and vehicles. The rules revolve around what are termed "Big Men", who use their cards and initiative levels to move, direct fire, rally shock points, spot, and more. Using Big Men is essential to each side's success during the game. The game system also uses what are clled shock points, which begin to wear down a unit's cohesion by lowering their movement, shooting, etc., so keeping troops shock point free is criticall during the game. The system also used "blinds", which are an effective way to simulate hidden movement. Overall, it is a fast playing game that allows for a large number of figures and a reasonable conclusion can be reached in 3-4 hours when playing with a large group.

German Recon Breakthrough


German Combined Arms Attack in 1941

Back to WW2 Early War skirmishing with IABSM 3 this time. The scenario had a German combined arms team consisting of a panzergrenadier platoon supported by mortars and 50mm AT guns, a PZ IVD platoon, and a mixed recon platoon trying to break through the Russian defenses, which were centered around a village. The Russian defenders had a platoon of infantry, a light mortar section, two 47mm AT guns, and a T-34/76 platoon that moved on board at the start of the game. The Germans had to exit the recon platoon off of the Russian starting board edge for a victory or take the town for a draw. The Germans moved much faster than anyone anticipated and the recon platoon tried to sneak around the edge of the town and into the clear. However, they encountered the T-34 platoon moving on board and after one of their armored cars got knocked out, proceeded to move into the town, where they ran into a Russian infantry platoon trying to deploy! This set off a major firefight that saw the Russian mortar sections and a squad wiped out for the loss of another German recon vehicle. The PZ-IVs moved up and began to engage the T-34s and the anti-tank guns that ambushed them. After several turns each side had a few vehicles burning and it looked as if things were heading towards a draw when the game was called. This was our first game of IABSM 3 in quite some time and the length of the board, number of players, lack of infantry, etc., made us use more armor than we probably should have. The armor system, while a lot of fun, does force you to do a lot of rules checking to see how they fire aginst buildings, AT guns, etc., so it bogged the game down a bit. I also had forgotten many of the rules and even though I had read through them again before play started I missed a lot of things that unfortunately skewed the game greatly.

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